, ,

I’m writing in the wake of an exhausting but oh-so-wonderful weekend at the British SCBWI annual conference in Winchester. So much to think about, so many people to thank, so much unpacking to do! But I did want to write down a few highlights right now, while they’re fresh in my mind.

Frank Cottrell Boyce (author of Millions, Framed, and Cosmic) spoke for two sessions, and he made us laugh and made us think in both of them. Here are a couple of the things he said that won my heart:

“Children’s books are about taking something you love and passing it on.”

“If you’re disciplined you’ll get what you planned for… but there is a grace in chaos.”

David McDougall, the Art Director at Walker Books echoed many in saying he was excited about digital possibilities, but he added:

“In a digital age, it is important to make books you want to keep” (He cited the truly astounding A Monster Calls as an example.)

Finally, one of the most amazing speakers at an amazing conference was Candy Gourlay, winner of the European Crystal Kite Award for her debut Tall Story. Candy is a legend within British SCWBI, and her speech is worth reading in full, but here’s a taste of it:

“…I got that this long journey was not just about getting published, it was about LIVING A CREATIVE LIFE and all the striving, the struggling, the honing your craft, the finding the time, the rejections? That was part of the package. I had to stop yearning for the Creative Life because the Creative Life was NOW.”